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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway.

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Us 11, U.s. 6, Obama 5, Fox News 5, Oberstar 5, Michael Steele 4, Manhattan 4, Bret 3, Taliban 3, Hoveround 3, Washington 3, Wendell Goler 2, Carl Cameron 2, John Mccain 2, Cluckers Program 2, America 2, Ayatollah Khomeini 2, New York 2, Pakistan 2, Scott Heidler 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway.  

    August 1, 2009
    4:00 - 5:00am EDT  

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o'reilly. hope to see you next time. remember, the spin stops here because we are always looking out for you. monday that you do not want to miss. from new york, good night, america! [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org--- bret: next on "special report" big numbers from one of the government's most popular economic incentives, the cash for clunkers program. the president says he is optimistic about economic recovery after the latest numbers are stronger than anticipated. the healthcare reform numbers still don't add up for many on capitol hill, as vacation beckons, and after a number of legal efforts, we finally get to see the air force i flyover that panicked manhattan. all that, plus the all-star panel and the friday lightning round, right here, right now. welcome to washington. i'm bret baier. after a lot of lonely weekends, car dealers around the country are bracing for
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impact tonight. a government program designed to spark sales and get gas guzzlers off the road is getting a high octane reception from the public. now, white house correspondent wendell goler reports the president is looking for more fuel for this program, despite critics who say this is bad for the country's economic engine. >> who would have thought weeks after two of detroit's big three emerged from bankruptcy some auto dealers would be worried about too much business? >> we have been as bis busy as we have been in years with this program. some dealers have run out of inventory. >> it is the going to be the best weekend the auto industry has seen in 100 years. the cash for clunkers program has been so successful, some dealers sold more than a month's worth of cars in a few days, raising fears that the billion dollars that was supposed to fund the program until the fall might not cover the deals already made and that put a fire under congress. >> the best thing we have ever done, more cash for cash for clunkers. >> and the white house -- >> we think it will benefit
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consumers, and dealers and manufacturers building cars an ultimately taxpayers, because the cars that they're purchasing have a higher fuel mileage. >> in michigan, where unemployment is 15% and one in five jobs related in some way to the auto industry, there was virtually unanimous support from republicans and democrats. >> this has to help us and bring a lot of people back to work, particularly in the supplier industries, the first, second and third tier suppliers and the assembly plants. >> with tens of billions of dollars already invested in chrysler and g.m., not everyone is happy with what they see as another federal bailout. >> maybe we should have a cash for cluckers program and pay people to eat chicken. >> we need a program to pay people to by lumber. >> if you're given free money, you like it, and you want more. that's what this program is. >> still, the house voted by
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3-1 to reprogram $2 billion in energy efficiency money to the clunkers program. even supporters say the problem has problems. the clunkers are supposed to be destroyed within two days of the sale but getting a refund gets much longer. i have dealers that have submitted their paperwork and aren't hearing back. >> john mccain is so opposed to the expenditure, he's planning to filibuster when the senate votes next. >> a lot of people are going this weekend to look at buying a new car. >> the amount of money you get for your clunker depends on how much better gas mileage the new car gets and it's a plus for the country that people are buying more fuel-efficient cars than congress expected, a ten-mile a gallon improvement gets the maximum $4,500 now. congress may require a bigger mileage improvement to get that in the fall.
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bret. bret: wendell goler live on the north lawn. the recession started out worse than we thought but recovering better than we expected that. was the word from the commerce department today, news that president obama welcomed. mike emanuel looks at the story behind the numbers. >> the economy has done immeasurably better than we had thought, better than expected. >> president obama took the commerce department's announcement that gross domestic product or g.d.p., the measure of overall economic growth in the country, shrunk by 1% annual rate in the second quarter as good news after revised numbers showed g.d.p. fell 6.4% in the first quarter. >> the g.d.p. revealed that the recession we faced when i took office was even deeper than anyone thought at the time. it told us how chose we were to the edge. >> in fact, the revised numbers showed during the first 12 months of this recession, the economy shrank more than twice as much as
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previously estimated including bigger declines in housing and consumer spending. how could the economists in both the bush and obama administration have been so far off? >> if you have a run of the mill, two quarter negative g.d.p. recession, you're probably going to nail it in terms of the severity, because we have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. we don't have an experience of a situation where the bottom has fallen out of the pail of water, which is what we have now. >> the president said that the $787 billion economic stimulus package deserves credit for reducing foreclosures, reviving the credit market and opening up loans for families and small businesses. >> this, and other difficult but important steps we have taken over the last six months have helped us put the brakes on the recession. >> critics have complained much of the spending in the stimulus has been more government spending rather than projects that would stimulate the economy. one of the white house key economic advisors claimed the latest numbers validate some of the spending. >> we absolutely think that
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money to save local governments has been crucially important, because if you look at today's g.d.p. numbers, one of the striking things is the fact that state and local governments spending rose in the second quarter. >> still, the white house is bracing for more bad economic news next week when job numbers come out. the president brie dicted it is going to show -- the president predicted that the country is continuing to lose far too many jobs. at the white house, fox news. bret: stocks were mixed today. the dow jumped 17. s&p 500 rose 3/4 of a point and nasdaq gave back 5. the house has approve add bill putting new curves on new executive pay for corporations, giving shareholders of publicly traded companies the right to a non-binding vote on salaries, golden parachutes and other compensation issues t would empower federal regulators to prohibit incentive-based arrangements that encourage what are called inappropriate risks. now to healthcare reform. congress has one foot out the door for its august vacation,
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but the last-minute push to get some agreement on health overhaul bill continued to provoke a lot of emotion on capitol hill. correspondent james rose subpoena following the action. -- james rosen is following the action. >> the problem is you're such a pessimist. you have a notion that what we have out there is doomed to failure. don't take it down with this pessimistic attitude of this amendment. >> i'm an optimist, but i look at the c.b.o. score on the public option in the current bill, and i see a trillion. >> the group therapy session that was masqueradeed as final markup of the healthcare bill by the house commerce and energy committee went into the second day with a cam quo from john boehner. >> i would ask that he be added to the committee on the minority side. >> with full voting privilege can! >> and with henry waxman still dead set on beating the august recess deadline.
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>> whatever time it takes, we're going to complete this bill today. >> in thursday night's action, which wrapped up at midnight, republicans sought to limit access to abortions an forcing lawmakers to enroll in any public healthcare plan they in enact. both were beaten back by the democratic majority, which resisted the push by the g.o.p. friday to open up to ordinary citizens the federal healthcare plan lawmakers do use. >> this is outside of our jurisdiction. >> this is germane. if you and i want to suspend the committee and see the parliament tearian in person, let's do it. >> despite a rear guard revolt by waxman's liberals, the democratic leadership on friday trained its sights on other combatants. >> the days for the insurance companies are coming to an end in our country. >> you have a lot of information coming out of far right wing radio, talk radio, and other outlets. we're going to make sure healthcare reform does not get swift voted during the month
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of august. >> on the senate side, the lead democratic negotiator conceded late thursday his colleagues will return home without a finalized plan to sell to their constituents. >> it's clear there will not be a markup next week. >> hours after the senate's top democratic majority leader harry reid blamed the news media for creating the august recess timetable, a creation in fact at the white house, a key republican bristled at reports of g.o.p. obstructionism. >> the trouble is you folks are looking for news news and there ain't no news. >> that, of course, is never true, but the senate's gang of six negotiators did agree to meet sporadicly over the august recess in order to meet a new september 15 deadline and look for house democrats to stage weekly healthcare events, daily response blogs and outreach to hispanics. bret. bret: sometimes true, a little nugget here or. there >> always some news. bret: thanks. senate banking committee chairman chris dodd says he has prostate cancer and will
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have surgery next month. the connecticut democrat made that announcement today at his office in hartford. >> i'm going to be fine. it can be caught early. the great thing about the annual physical is if you get an early detection of prostrate cancer, it's very manageable. >> dodd says he will continue to work for healthcare reform so everyone can get an annual checkup like he does, and he says that he won't let the disease prevent him from running for re-election. is the postal service obsolete or is it just in serious trouble? we report. you decide. and a republican party thought to be by many in serious trouble after the last election tries to come up with a winning ( conversation ) garth, you're up. hold on, i'm at capitalone.com picking a photo... for my credit card. here's one from my prom. oh, what memories. how 'bout one from our golf outing? ( shouting ) i know, maybe one of my first-born son.
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bret: the most talked about during the republican party's summer meeting in san diego is on the other side of the country. chief political correspondent carl cameron reports republicans are coming together in their opposition
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to president obama. >> we've got sight left in us. >> g.o.p. big shots nursed their outrage. >> think about all the crap we've taking from the press, and some of our own. >> they voted to officially dub healthcare reform with a costly public option obama-care and a step towards socialism. "obama care will be government control of the healthcare sector in addition to the federal government's direct control of banks, auto manufacturers, insurance companies and mortgage industry." randy poolen is the g.o.p. he's national treasurer and an arizona small businessman. >> healthcare is 1/6 or even more than that in our entire economy, and to have the government running 1/6 of our economy just doesn't make any sense. >> the r.n.c. has launched attack ads in 61 congressional districts during the august recess against fiscally conservative democrats including the so-called blue dogs who said they oppose the government healthcare takeover but some of them have begun to waiver under pressure from
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democratic leaders and the white house. >> they don't have the kahunas to stand up and support the american people, so don't pretend anymore. we're calling you out. i'm looking at you and telling you we're coming after you. >> they voted to officially pan the president's climate change bill "cap and trade is a tax on energy that falls on hard working american families and the cost of the tax exceeds any benefit, especially in this type of economic crisis." and they shammed the president's appointment of czars, not subject to congressional confirmation as an abuse and violation of the power of the president and demanded congress to de-fund them. after a rocky start as chairman, michael steele seems to have made peace with g.o.p. critics. some have proposed limiting his power over party money but in the end went with a traditional cosignature for expenditures over $100,000. bret: carl cameron, live in san diego. we can finally show you images of the air force i flyover of
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ground zero that caused a panic in manhattan last april and cost the head of the white house military office his job. national security correspondent jennifer griffin shows us what all the fuss was about. >> three months, 40 freedom of information requests and countless legal hours and this is what the white house and the air force apparently didn't want the public to see, pictures of the president's plane on a purported training mission, to update file photos of air force i, circling the statue of liberty. in lower manhattan, on april 27, many new yorkers panicked, in what to them looked like another 9/11. what is clear from the e-mails released by the air force today, the white house military office had a public affairs plan in place but someone decided not to tell the public. due to the sensitivity of the aircraft involved, the public affairs and outreach effort must be carefully coordinated and timed," according to minutes from ra conference held in early april by the white house military office.
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coordination with the general public will commence april 26. no reference should be made to the presidential aircraft in public outreach, only to d.o.d. aircraft." it is also revealed that the plane planned to fly at 1,000 feet. the head of the air force was told of the mission in advance in an e-mail from the head of air mobility command. quote, just wanted you to be aware that the v.c.-25 will be flying over the statue of liberty on monday morning for some publicity photos. your public affairs folks are also in the loop. i included the fa memo that went out including the mission as well. signed, general arthur lint." the 146 photos released today weren't all that different from the one released by the white house in may. robert gibbs repeated he and deputy white house counsel jim messina weren't told about what appeared to be what was otherwise a carefully planned mission.
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>> we were not briefed. it is safe to say if we were, we wouldn't have had those fancy pictures. >> the f.a.a. has not responded to fox's foya request and it appears from these e-mails is the one to say that information about the flight should be kept closely held. the white house military office held a conference call with the new york may your's office and the local police they just forgot to tell the public. at the pentagon, jennifer griffin, fox news. bret: some house democrats are pushing for a second stimulus that even the p president doesn't seem to want, and a look at the most vulnerable tools in the taliban let me tell you about... a very important phone call i made. when i got my medicare card... i realized i needed... an aarp medicare supplement insurance card too. one simple call... gave me the chance to talk...
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bret: in world headlines, in iraq, a series of coordinated
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attacks near five baghdad mosques has left at least 29 dead. the deadliest explosion was near a shiite mosque in the city's northern neighborhoods. 24 people were killed there. developing right now, a u.s. official tells fox news that three americans have been detained by iranian authorities while backpacking along the kurdish border with iran. it is not clear which side of the border they were on when they were captured. in the northeastern iranian city of mushad, president ahmadinejad denied any ris rift with supreme leader ayatollah khomeini, insisting their relationship is like that of a father and son. ahmadinejad has come under fire from hardliners in iran over his initial reluctance to obey ayatollah khomeini's orders to fire his first vice president. in afghanistan, the u.s. military says an american service member has been killed by insurgent fire in the south. that brings the total u.s. deaths this month to 42, the most in any month in the
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8-year war. in pakistan, as the current government battles the taliban, it is forced to deal with one of the terror group's devastating leg gas siz. reporter scott heidler explains from swat sally. >> by the hundreds of thousands, the refugees are returning to the swat valley after weeks of months of fighting between taliban fighters and pakistani security forces for most people are now behind them, but there's a group of boys whose invisible injuries from the recent conflict won't heal at any time soon, the child soldiers of the taliban. >> the pakistani army estimates that 100 boys were kidnapped or coerced into taliban training camps in the swat valley. they were put into three categories -- informants, future soldiers or those with the most potential were put into suicide bomber courses. we had the opportunity to sit down with two boys being temporarily looked after. these boys were 13 or 14, but some of the others who are leld in a nearby taliban
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training camp were as young as nine years old. for security, their faces are covered and no names were given. >> they grabbed me from the fields when i was working. they told me that i had to go for jihad, against the security forces. they told us to carry out jihad against the pakistan army, because they are not muslims. this is because they are friends with the united states army, who killed a lot of muslims, and you will go to heaven for killing them, even if you have to kill yourself. the taliban told us don't listen to anyone, not your father, not your brother, not your sister. if they get in your way of fighting jihad, it's ok to kill them. >> these two boys were some of the lucky ones. they escaped. >> myself and two other boys at the camp talked about escaping. i was very scared, as the taliban said if we tried to escape, they would slaughter us, but when i had the chance, i ran away. >> the u.s. children's agency is now getting involved. >> they were contacted through
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union self so the children's agency can support these children who we understand have been brainwashed into becoming either child soldiers or suicide bombers. >> the challenge is not only to get the boys into programs to deal with their psychological damage, but it has to be customized for their culture and counter what in some cases have has been years of mental conditioning even before they were trained to fight. in swat valley, scott heidler, fox news. bret: what happens in vegas is being blamed on president obama, and the man that is advising the president on science issues thinks trees should be allowed to
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bret: and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. las vegas casino mogul steve wynn is again lashing out at president obama for discouraging companies that received bailout money from traveling to sin city. the loss los angeles sun said wynn said during a conference call thursday "right now we are more afraid of washington than the economy. the president has his own office and his own group of people and they don't listen to anyone. " wynn says the president's february warning has caused companies to pull out of lucrative conventions which has hurt the city's economy. quote "our senior senate is the senate majority leader. you would think that we would have a leg up on this. we have a government that has
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decided anybody who creates jobs must be bad, that the job creators must have a target on their back." the government accountability office has ended the postal service to the list of high risk federal agencies because it will lose billions in the coming years. the report says the service needs a serious transformation, and estimates it will lose $7 billion this year, and another $7 billion next year. the postal service has been struggling with a sharp decline in volume because largely of the recession and the popularity of e-mail. postal executives have suggested ending saturday delivery, closing branches and changing the way the postal service pays retiree health benefits, but the g.a.o. says more drastic measures are needed. the report calls on the postal service and congress to work together to develop a restructuring plan. president obama's aunt says she does not need her nephew to stand up for her as a character witness at her immigration hearing next
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february r mrs. onyango, who is living in this country illegally, told the boston herald thursday "why should he? my problem is my problem. i carry my own cross." she recently moved into a south boston public housing complex. she was ordered to leave the country in 2004 after her political asylum request was turned down. a spokesman for her lawyers says they are now, quote, very optimistic about the outcome. in the meantime, she says she is enjoying the city she considers her second home. quote "beggars can't be choosers. south boston is one of the most beautiful places i have ever lived in. people are very kind, and i'm enjoying the beaches." and the president's science and technology advisor once endorsed giving trees legal standing in court. cyber cast news reports policy director john holdren made the comment in a book he cowrote in 1977. he said in an essay written by
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a law professor called "should trees have standing?" adding that the change would have an effect on the quality of the environment. he said the essay pointed out the obvious advantages of giving natural objects standing, just as inanimate objects as corporations trusts an ships are now held to have legal rights and duties. " no word yet from the white house on whether mr. holdren still believes trees should have legal standing in the courtroom. president obama has discouraged talk of a second stimulus package, but some house democrats want one anyway. correspondent steve brown tells us why. >> if they're not ready to do this at the white house, then let us get out of the way. we're ready to move. >> 17-term democratic congressman jim oberstar says despite administrative objections, the time is now for what he has described as a second stimulus. >> we will create 6 million jobs over the next six years with our $450 billion civic
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transportation program in highways an transportation. >> the proposed nearly half trillion dollar investment in roads, bridges and mass transit is overdue says the minnesota lawmaker who is the chair of the house transportation committee. siding with oberstar is the house speaker. >> we will have a transportation bill. it is just a question of whether we take it in a smaller dose or a bigger dose. i would like to see it in a bigger dose. >> but the obama administration is not onboard and officials confirm that transportation secretary ray lahood told oberstar in person that the white house preferred to stay for an additional 18 months with the current transportation funded by a gasoline tax. almost 18 and a 1/2 cents of evy gallon of gas goes to the federal transportation trust fund which pays for roads, bridges and other projects, but oberstar says with over 60,000 miles of federal highway in fair or poor condition, over 150,000
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bridges deficient or obsolete and more than 32,000 aging public transit buses needing replacing, 18.4 cents a gallon won't pay for all that. >> if we don't increase the gas tax, then there are other revenue sources that we can find that are not taxed that are linked directly to the use of the system that will pay for the next six years. >> oberstar's suggestions include increasing fees on crude oil, increasing the tariff on imported gas and diesel fuel, a tax on oil futures speculating, a container fee at u.s. ports, a crate shipping tax and even an annual vehicle registration fee. oberstar concedes none of these would be popular, but he says it's an investment that needs to be made now, no matter what the administration seems to think. >> we can't send the president's advisors to a transportation head start program and come back to us in 18 months. >> steve brown, fox news. bret: still on the subject of money, the specter of increasing costs for health insurance has many people
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worried about what any reform package might look like. correspondent marianne silber reports that people who run or work for small businesses are especially concerned. >> the recession has hit small business owners hard, but nothing has hurt more than the rising cost of health insurance. >> other than salaries, the number one line item in our expenses is healthcare, followed closely by taxes. >> to cut costs, randy hand, co-owner of a small software company and his staff work from home and turned to part-time or overseas workers, unable to cover additional workers for additional healthcare costs. >> for what we pay for a full-time employee, we can get a full-time outsourced worker to write software for us. >> the problem, according to emery university professor charles gest is that smaller firms don't have the benefit
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of discounts offered to larger corporations. >> small business pays up to 50% higher than big business. >> and that hurts more than the bottom line t limits who they can hire. >> companies that offer health insurance get better employees, because people who can have better qualifications going to look for companies that offer more benefits. >> the president reassured small business owners that his plan to reform healthcare won't increase those costs. >> every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage because it became too expensive. >> but small business owners like hand say the proposed changes are hard to understand, and he fears they just won't work. >> there's nothing that i know of that i can point to that says definitively healthcare costs will come down if this plan is implemented. >> but gest, a former small business owner himself, says it's better than doing nothing at all. >> at the moment, we don't really know if it's a good
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plan. we do know that small business does need some kind of plan that brings their prices down. >> most new jobs come from small businesses. what congress does will determine if america's small firms prosper or continue to struggle with the high cost of health insurance. in atlanta, marryian silber, fox news. bret: the government has released the latest numbers for the h1n1 flu virus. the is enters for disease control and prevention says this have been 353 reported deaths in the u.s. and its territories. 5,514 people have been hospitalized. the economy seems to be recovering a little faster than anticipated. the fox all-stars react to the numbers and talk cash forñcwcww
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>> the g.d.p. revealed in the last few months the economy has done measurably better than we had thought, better than expected, and as many
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economists will tell you, that part of the progress is directly attributable to the recovery act. bret: president obama talking about the economy today, saying it is directly tied to his stimulus package. we will talk about that. here is a look at the gross domestic product numbers just out today. you will see the fourth quarter of '08, down 5.4%, it was revised. first quarter of '09, 6.4% and then you see second quarter of this year down 1%. also, the cover of newsweek this week, here it is "the recession is over." how about this? let's bring in our panel, fred barnes of the weekly standard, juan williams, news analyst for national public radio, and syndicated column ifs charles krauthammer. charles, what about the president saying this is a recovery based on his recovery act? >> i would say that's rubbish. according to the c.b.o. a trickle of the money has gotten out. now, that's not anything that
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would have influenced a recovery in this quarter. what you are getting is a he rebound from a huge drop in the first quarter of the year. we're getting a bottoming out of housing prices. we had bernanke, head of the federal reserve, who said earlier in the year before the stimulus that we would be emerging out of our recession at the end of this year, and we are on target. what the stimulus will do. it is going to kick in next year, when democrats are going to need a boost, because unemployment, which is a lagging indicator, is going to be high all of next year, so perhaps it will drop a bit slightly as a way to help democrats win the election next year. it is good politics but it is lousy economics. bret: unemployment, juan, is still going to likely be bad when we get that number coming up. >> sure, unemployment keeps going up and it is aing laggard, that's true. the difference i would have from charles' viewpoint is that the stimulus package is. there people know it's there. people can see that based on the spending that the government has invested in
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this economy, that better days are ahead, so confidence is coming along. right now, all that's keeping this economy down is consumer spending. consumers are the ones that are still a little unsure about where things are going. if it was just up to consumers, we would still be in a bad recession. business is actually ahead of consumers. i think as consumers gain confidence and start to spend money, then you will see things pick up. >> it is confidence that consumers lack. there isn't any pickup in confidence. look, i will tell you why the president was wong about what he said about this about the stimulus being the cause. spending was up -- government spending was up but it was mainly defense spending. defense spending went up 13.1%. non-defense spending 6% and only a fraction of that was from the stimulus, so no economists are going to tell the president or reinforce what the president said that the stimulus was a big factor here. it was no factor at all. if i know better at all, the president surely ought to know
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better. there is one good sign, though, and this 1% drop in the economy is obviously an improvement, but i think the most encouraging thing is the stock market. i think july was one of the best months in, what, since 2002 or something like that, extraordinarily good month, and the thing will the stock market is that it is a leading indicator. if the stock market is growing, it means that the economy can't be far behind. so that, well, the credit is still contracting and housing hasn't hit bottom and a bunch of other things. i think the stock market should encourage everyone. bret: another big story here in washington today, the cash for clunkers program, which started out at $1 billion. there was plenty of clunkers out there, but not enough cash. take a listen to the debate today. >> we have learned that the short-term program was so successful that we have exhausted the funds in only five days. >> most of the naysayers are even admitting that it is the best $1 billion in economic
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stimulus funds that the federal government has ever spent. >> maybe we should have a cash for cluckers program and pay people to eat chicken. >> the federal government can't process a simple rebate. i have got dealers that have submitted the paperwork three times and have gotten three rejections. bret: two sides of this issue. the house ended up passing an additional $2 billion for the cash for clunkers program. what about this, charles? >> well, you can argue the pros and cons. it is stimulating the auto industry. of course, we're already putting $80 billion into it, so why should you favor it over not the cash for couches and help the furniture industry? however, even if you accept, it the liberals in congress cannot do anything without at least one human sacrifice in the name of the earth god, and that is that it requires in the name of global warming, of which it will have no effect anyway, that all of the clunkers are destroyed in two days, and turned into scrap. you cannot resell it as a used
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car or use its parts, which means that if you are poor or young or an immigrant starting out and want a starter car, a secondhand car, they will be scarcer and the parts will be scarcer, which means the prices will be higher, and that will be imposed by a liberal in congress who drives to capitol hill in his lexus with air-conditioning and self parking mechanism. bret: juan, in the senate, we don't know what will happen yet. senator john mccain has threatened to filibuster this, because he thinks it is, frankly, stupid, to be paying all this money to companies that essentially the american people already own. >> right. but if you're interested in short-term stimulus, i don't see how you can't praise it. the only negative i see here apart from dr. gloom i'm sitting next to is that there was a real failure to properly anticipate how the program would work and the fact that it was so popular. i mean, essentially people being very aggressive in their buying patterns over the past
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three weekends in the car dealerships, the government didn't see, it didn't anticipate it and as a result they weren't fully prepared to handle the paperwork. if you are talking about the success of the program for the auto dealers, man, this is great. this is exactly what they should be doing. >> i have a clunker. i plan to use it and hope i can get $4, 500 for it on some new car. it won't be a g.m. car, that's for sure, but look, there is a lesson here. there is a lesson here. cash incentives work. look how fast they work. that's why -- that's what is wrong with the stimulus. the president didn't have any incentives there for investments, private investments that would create jobs. >> why wouldn't you buy a g.m. car? >> would you buy one, come on! >> not anticipating the program, does that loom large for healthcare? >> exactly. if you want to take over 1/6 of the economy and you have a program that will last until the fall and it runs out in four days, you have got a
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problem on projections in the future. >> these are the people who are supposed to -- the regulators who will know when the next economic bubble is coming. sure. bret: up next, republicans seek a fix, and the lightning round
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>> this party, you and me, will not allow one blue dog in this country to hide behind being a blue dog. they are no longer going to sit up there an sound like a republican, sound conservative on pro life. i'm pro business. i'm pro second amend mentd, and then vote to undo the very fabric of this country. bret: michael steele, head of
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the republican national committee, out in san diego at their meeting talking about blue dogs, moderate democrats and going after them in those moderate districts around the country as they consider healthcare reform. that's our first topic on the lightning round. minal steele, how is he doing, fred? >> better, a lot better. he has figured out what his job. mainly it is to raise money and win elections. that's what he is talking about, beating the blue dogs. his learning curve has been that he moved into it faster than i thought. the money is pouring in, particularly because president obama has united republicans against him. >> it is all about the money, honey and he's doing it. he is getting the money. bret: that sounded like michael steele there. it is all about the money, honey. >> that's t that kind of comment, you know, michael steele is exactly what he was doing wrong before. he was being too much a t.v. commentator and not doing the work. they have taken some authority away from him in terms of financial issues at the r.n.c.
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and he is apparently ok with it. erthey're on a good roll. >> that's right, his problem is he was stealing our thunder and now he is doing a good job staying off the talk shows. he will be judged not just on money but the elections. the big elections the governors races in virginia and new jersey and the republicans are ahead now, so he is expected to bring in two victories and that's going to be a high bar for him. bret: it took three months and 40 freedom of information act requests, but the administration released the air force i flyover pictures of manhattan back in april. they look a lot like the one that they released back then. 900 pages came out. it ended up costing $350,000. what about this, charles? >> your government at work, and you want to give them control of 1/6 of the economy? >> what's wrong with these pictures? they were intended to advertise pictures of the united states of air force i. you see what the ad budget is
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for t.v.? >> i could have done it for $350. >> it is not like air force i didn't have a good reputation? look, we didn't learn any more from the stuff that came out. it was a fiasco, particularly because the officials in new york didn't learn about it. now, at least the ones that counted. bret: this is a hot topic here. i rarely have disagreements with the staff. we had a disagreement on whether or not there should be a clock on the lightning round, the clock in the corner. i said no, i'm distracted by it. we want to hear what the panel thinks and ma you think. e-mail in the panel. >> banish the clock. this is not a bar. it is hard to be short. i'm done. >> it's terrific. it will make the panel, i think, more interesting, pithy, no more filibusters. i'm all for it. >> if you don't like the clock, don't tell bret. >> bret, do you have an alarm clock that gets up in the morning? >> sure! >> this would alarm us that we're not being pithy, suscinct, and i'm p pro clock.
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have you seen p.t.l. on espn? >> my point exactly! >> aren't we above the clock and the dinging? >> neverment i'm a baseball guy. >> i'm basketball guy. we need a 24-second clock or the equivalent of it. >> we want the e-mails to come in, pro clock, anti-clock? we will analyze and make a decision before the next friday lightning round and it looks like we essentially are out of time. the big story next week? >> it will be what happens at the town hall meetings for members of congress when they have to talk about healthcare. >> that's the big story for the next month. >> the death of the healthcare and push on it this summer. bret: no clock needed. that's it for the panel. stay tuned for what may be one of the healthcare messaging problems for president obama. .
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bret: i want you to know, there are still talking about the clock. finally tonight, you can easily come to the conclusionç that te obama administration his having a hard time with their health- care message one reason may be moot where they are pulling the president bushç -- maybe where. >> -larry, to the front register. larry, to the front register. would lary please come to the front register? >> and it would have been very destructive. [applause] bret: he is getting the message out. that is it for "special